Then and Now

   I remember New Year’s Eve, five years ago. My husband and I had just moved to Washington from Oklahoma a few months prior, it was bone-chilling cold and we were walking to a friend’s house. We played poker (which I didn’t know how to play and still don’t because maybe… there was a little too much drinking involved) and drank Disaronno and Coke (which I’d never had before, and, is delicious).

poker chips

We stayed out until way past two in the morning and then staggered our way down the street to our house. I slept in until noon, drank coffee to clear my alcohol-saturated brain and took my dogs for a long walk. I probably took a nap somewhere in there and read a book. It sounds relaxing, right? Relaxing and quiet.

coffee cup

Fast forward to this New Year’s: We went to my mom’s house and played games while eight children ran up and down the halls (two of which are mine). The sweet noise of children screaming, chasing each other, crying, whining, tattling on each other, fighting over who gets the blue crayon and who gets the bigger piece of pizza filled the air. In between the tantrums, melt-downs and the carrying on, if you listened closely, sometimes you got lucky and you could hear the beautiful tinkering of their laughter. Ah, yes. That…right there…is one of my most favorite sounds in the world.

As the whining and tears escalated and the laughter dissipated, we decided it was time to pack up and go home. Was it 10:30? Why yes, yes it was. I know…we are party animals…what of it?

Just for the sake of posterity, we decided to go all out…and wait for it…stayed up until 11 PM so we could watch the ball drop in New York. My husband gave me a quick kiss before we scooped up the kids and dashed to the car.

2016 new years

This morning I got up at 6am, not by choice, but because my daughter jumped on top of me and said in perfect dramatic fashion, “The sky’s awake! So I’m awake! So we have to try on dresses! (The kid changes literally, at least 5 times a day). And even though I was exhausted because I’d only gotten five hours of asleep, not to mention that I haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep since December 18th when we started traveling, I smiled and got up with her.

It doesn’t sound relaxing does it? And it definitely doesn’t sound quiet, right? And it certainly sounds different from my New Year’s Eve five years ago…BUT, I wouldn’t change it for anything.


Every day I am thankful and grateful for my healthy, beautiful children, my wonderful husband who works so hard for us and this family we have created.

What are you grateful for? Comment below and tell me! I’d love to hear it!

CHALLENGE: I challenge you to keep a gratitude journal! Every day, for the month of January, write down at least one thing you are grateful for. You can write it, draw it, or cut out magazine pictures and glue them in there. It doesn’t matter…make it your own! You will be amazed how this one SMALL activity can make a HUGE difference in your attitude and mood.

DID YOU KNOW: Studies have shown that happy people practice the habit of being grateful – that means that being grateful, genuinely grateful, is linked to happiness, a decrease in depression, an increase in positive attitude, and an overall appreciation of life and what’s in it. Try it today!


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A New You For A New Year

2016 new year


Do you have a goal in mind for the new year?  Good.  Now forget about it.

That’s right.  You heard me.  Forget it.

Why?  Because it isn’t about the end result, it’s about the process.  It’s about how you feel and the person you become along the way that truly matters.  Reaching your goal, coming to the end state, is just an added bonus.

write down goals

Are you determined to lose weight in 2016?  Great!  I hope you do!  But think about the steps along the way that will get you there.  You may have to change your diet, drink more water, get more sleep, eat more vegetables, fit daily exercise into your routine, convince your family to eat differently, bake, not fry things and learn new recipes.

The end result of all that?  You lose weight and you can fit into your favorite pair of jeans.  Wonderful!  But what about how you have changed along the way?  What about the person you were yesterday, last week, or last month?  You aren’t that person anymore.  You’ve learned new habits.  You feel good on the inside because you look good on the outside.  You have more energy, more spring in your step and all of your clothes fit.  You’ve learned how to take better care of yourself which in turn allows you to take better care of the people you love.  You are an inspiration to others.  You are PROUD of yourself.  As you should be!

Are you determined to finally do that muscle up or that handstand push up?  Do you want to get every single room in your house organized? (that’s a personal vendetta of mine)  What about finishing that project you started last year or running that half marathon that you keep alluding to but never actually sign up for?

Can you see, how, in the end it’s all the same?  No matter what you are striving for, you will need to take certain steps to get there.  These steps will change you because you will have learned new things and developed different habits.

destination quote picture

I challenge you…right here…right now…to focus on the present.  To focus on the process.  To focus on the daily steps you need to take to get you where you want to be.

How?  Make a list.  Make a detailed list of daily habits you need to implement, of things you need to add or remove from your routine, etc., in order to be successful on this journey.

Finally reaching your destination, will of course, be wonderful.  But I encourage you to keep in mind that it is only the icing on the proverbial cake.


Below is a link to another great goal setting worksheet you can use to set your overall  goals

After you do the worksheet above, do this one:  It can help you determine what DAILY steps you need to take to reach the goals you outlined for yourself.  (source:

to do list


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